Flexible 3D Printed Conductive Metamaterial Units for Electromagnetic Applications in Microwaves

Materials (Basel). 2020 Sep 2;13(17):3879. doi: 10.3390/ma13173879.

Abstract

In this work we present a method for fabricating three dimensional, ultralight and flexible millimeter metamaterial units using a commercial household 3D printer. The method is low-cost, fast, eco-friendly and accessible. In particular, we use the Fused Deposition Modeling 3D printing technique and we fabricate flexible conductive Spilt Ring Resonators (SRRs) in a free-standing form. We characterized the samples experimentally through measurements of their spectral transmission, using standard rectangular microwave waveguides. Our findings show that the resonators produce well defined resonant electromagnetic features that depend on the structural details and the infiltrating dielectric materials, indicating that the thin, flexible and light 3D printed structures may be used as electromagnetic microwave components and electromagnetic fabrics for coating a variety of devices and infrastructure units, while adapting to different shapes and sizes.

Keywords: 3D printing; Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM); Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF); electromagnetic materials; metamaterials; metasurfaces; microwave components; polymers.